A certification is a great way to get your foot in the door of a new industry. And luckily for veterans, there are many great certification programs out there that cost nothing at all. Whether you are looking to break into a new career or to add credentials to your resume, free certifications can give you the skills you need to be successful. These programs are often offered through partnerships between organizations that recognize the value Veterans bring to civilian work teams and want to make it easier for you to access quality training and gain credentials.
For example, the Federal Virtual Training Environment program offers cybersecurity training for veterans and other service members. The free program includes courses that will prepare you for the Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and CISSP exams.
Other options for veterans seeking free certificates include Code Platoon, an organization that teaches veterans the skills needed to become a full-stack web developer. They use a self-guided process that leads to the free Palo Alto Networks Certified Cybersecurity Administrator (PCNSA) and PCCSA exams.
Salesforce, one of the largest CRM companies, has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes to offer free Salesforce certification for Veterans and their families. This certification will help you gain a deeper understanding of the tools that can help you build strong relationships with customers, increase sales, and drive growth in your company. In addition to this, Apprenti offers a full-time paid apprenticeship for Veterans and military spouses that will allow you to dive into the tech sector.
Other Certificate Opportunities for Veterans
Whether you’re looking to advance in your current career or are interested in changing careers, free certifications for veterans are available. These programs recognize the unique skills that service members bring to civilian workforces. Some of these programs also provide interview training and job placement assistance.
One program, Second Watch, created by Palo Alto Networks, believes veterans possess intrinsic cybersecurity skills. It provides a nine-step self-paced online training curriculum, which leads to the Palo Alto Networks Certified Security Administrator (PCNSA) and Certified Security Analyst (PCCSA) exams. The program has more than 90% success rates, and many graduates have landed jobs paying salaries that exceed $100,000 per year.
Other programs include the Federal Virtual Training Environment, which is open to all federal employees and veterans. This offers courses in topics like ethical hacking, cyber threat intelligence, and risk management. The NPower Tech Fundamentals program is another free option. It offers a broader education in the IT field, including certifications for software development, web design, and business management.
Salesforce is a leading Customer Relationship Management company that has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes to offer a 12-week fellowship for military spouses, veterans, and active-duty service members. It will provide certifications in customer service, sales, and marketing automation.
VA Benefits for Certifications
There are free self-guided certification programs for those looking to advance their careers in cybersecurity, get their Project Management Certification, or add another skill to the resume. These are available to active duty, military spouses, and veterans with their GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon, or other education benefits.
The GI Bill covers license and certification tests as long as they are part of a program that leads to an accredited degree or vocational/technical training. The GI Bill will pay for the registration fees, actual cost of the test, and the retake costs (if necessary). The number of tests you can take is unlimited, as is the amount of time you can spend on each one.
For licensing and certification test reimbursement, students must submit a VA form 22-0803 or 22-0810, along with proof of payment and the authorization letter from the testing organization. This can be done through the Ask A Question website, by phone, or by submitting by mail to your nearest regional processing office. Students should be aware that failing a class or earning a Withdrawn, Never Attended grade in which they paid tuition through the GI Bill will affect their SAP calculation. This includes courses that aren’t certified for the student’s degree program or career field.